[By the way, do you have a name?]
[Name? …nn… I know humans make a certain sound when calling me… but it’s a sound that I can’t make.]
Cats didn’t understand the human language even if Kuuga could talk to them like this. If they repeated the same word, they’d think it’s a name they called you. However, if it had this much intelligence and if it was taught properly, it might be able to understand the words spoken by humans to some extent.
[If it’s inconvenient to have no name, Beast King can give me one.]
Kuuga’s shoulders involuntarily shook. Regarding Kuuga’s naming sense―― one could tell just by how he called Gadillas Green-kun.
[S-Shiro because you’re white… no, don’t look at me like that… uhm…]
Kuuga’s head began to spin at an unbelievably fast speed. When he was a child, his friends often laughed at the name he gave the beetle he caught so he was aware that he had no naming sense. By the way, the beetle’s name was “Shiny Black.”
He didn’t have the ability to imagine without any starting point, so he imagined the white color of the cat.
White… tofu, daifuku (rice cake stuffed with bean jam), white gem, eggs, milk, fresh cream, salt, sugar, white rice… Kuuga shook his head since he’s only thinking about food. He had to get away from food.
This time, he imagined a white thing that’s different from food. Polar bear, rabbit, Java sparrow, harbor seals... no, this isn’t it. It’s for a cat.
Plaster, white-out, whiteboard, tissue… strange, he felt like it’s getting worse.
Kuuga exhaled deeply once, and reset the inside of his head, which was confused by all the shaking. He had to keep it separate from food, animals and daily necessities.
What’s often used in a name? What came to his mind were the names of flowers. Now imagine a white flower.
[…Magnolia? …hmm, Orchid? …nn… Suzuran (lily of the valley), how about Suzuran?]
[Suzuran? …maybe something a little shorter…]
[Then, Suzu or Ran.]
[Ran is easier to say. What does it mean?]
[The name of a white flower. Then Ran is fine.]
Mission complete. After the name was safely decided, Kuuga exhaled a very deep breath.
“Kuuga? What’s up?”
Noticing that the tension had eased up, Gadillas, who was watching over Kuuga’s situation, called out. He seemed to have noticed that Kuuga suddenly showed a very tired expression.
[Ah… that’s right…]
To talk to Gadillas, Kuuga humanized. Being used to it, Uros came closer with a gown once Kuuga started to glow.
“The criminal who injured this child should be a child. The hair should be deep blue…or dark blue? It seems to be a boy.”
He was a little confused since he was listening to the animals’ choice of words, but when he managed to tell it, Gadillas muttered, “Child…?” and tilted his head to Uros.
“Is there a child living in the castle right now?”
“No… the mainline is from the previous generation but there is a family outside with the surname Edios…”
Uros’ reply was something that Kuuga couldn’t understand and he tilted his head. He knew that Edios was also in Gadillas’ name, and all the candidates had that surname. But what’s the mainline…?
After thinking for a bit, he finally realized. It referred to the Prince and Princess of the royal family. There seemed to be a distinction between those people and the children of the child-making team.
“That means… someone brought a child from the outside for some reason.”
“In that case, an application should have been submitted. I’ll find out.”
“Please… but, Kuuga.”
“…it doesn’t mean he’s guilty. Remember that.”
“Hey… I know.”
He instinctively wanted to retort but he realized the reason and bit his lips. It was a cat that’s hurt. It’s also a stray. There’s no way to blame anyone.
But he still couldn’t forgive the fact that Ran, whom he exchanged words with and had become a familiar entity, got hurt. He couldn’t stand not doing anything.
“…I understand that it’s not a crime. But I’d like to ask, regarding the act of hurting a harmless animal outside of hunting… what do you humans think?”
He thought it’s an outrageous act from Kuuga’s perspective, but he wondered if the human beings of this world didn’t care about it at all.
“That’s… well, it’s not a good feeling. After all, many people have pets.”
“Hmm… by the way, what about children using weapons in the castle?”
“If you’re over 10 years old, your parents often give you a dagger. However, it’s forbidden for anyone other than a knight to pull out a weapon in the castle.”
“…others can if the scene was chaotic, but they should be conscientious.”
Kuuga put a hand on his chin and thought about various things, seemingly disturbed about something. Seeing this, Uros opened his mouth.
“Kuuga-sama? …I’m sorry, but you can’t punish them in any way…”
“But it’s okay as long as we’re careful, right? Edallion is also the best. If he knows a criminal in public… can he draw his sword?”
“…it’s possible, but what are you planning to do?”
Gadillas looked suspicious, he just couldn’t see how he would go about it carefully.
“It’s fine if the parents properly scold the child, reflect on it, and apologize.”
The other person is a child, muttered Kuuga. It’s fine if the parents properly disciplined the child so they won’t do it again.
“If… what if he became defiant?”
Kuuga laughed and squinted with cold eyes, to which Gadillas and the others had never seen.
“There are no limits to how punishment can be made without the country’s judgment.”
Gadillas and Uros, who felt something horrible would happen, had chills down their spine. They looked at each other for a moment, then vowed that they should never offend Kuuga.
Gadillas roughly messed up Kuuga’s head to restore it from the scary one which made him look like a different person.
“Ah~ so good.”
He returned earlier than expected.